You are well advised to keep an eye on the legal decision-making parameters in every business transaction. The prerequisites for this are economic know-how and in-depth industry experience. Our member companies receive the necessary legal input - individually and tailored for mechanical engineering.

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From our Articles
Trade with the UK after EU exit

Brexit requires a complete reorganisation of trade relations with the EU. What do machinery and plant engineering companies have to prepare for? What will change? The VDMA provides answers to all questions concerning the Brexit.

Industry 4.0 - Contract design is necessary

The digital age also requires the automation of business transactions. This requires pre-formulated contractual terms. German AGB law stands in the way of this.

"Machines remain safe even with artificial intelligence"

Europe wants to play a leading role in the development of artificial intelligence (AI). Uniform rules are needed across Europe so that companies can act in a legally secure manner.

Who owns the data?

The Data Usage Guide provides comprehensive guidance on data sovereignty in mechanical engineering and gives member companies valuable pointers on the contractual regulation of data allocation.

Ministry of Justice presents new draft on unitary patent

At the beginning of June 2020, the Federal Ministry of Justice presented a new draft law on the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC).

Focus on transatlantic data transfer

The protection of personal data is also playing an increasingly important role in mechanical engineering. At the latest since the introduction of the European General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO), hardly any VDMA member can do without a sustainable data protection strategy.

Covid-19: The pandemic and its legal consequences

The Covid-19 pandemic raises many issues, such as employment and contract law and tax law. In addition, there are numerous requirements for travel.

Bill remains controversial

In its September 2020 meeting, the Bundesrat criticized the government's draft of the Association Sanctions Act and warns not to overburden small and medium-sized enterprises.

Bureaucratic monster hinders EU single market

For work assignments within Europe, the three topics of "reporting requirements", "social law: A1 certificate" and "labour law: posting directive" are increasingly coming into focus.

National Business and Human Rights Action Plan (NAP)

The German federal government examines the extent to which companies based in Germany comply with their human rights due diligence obligations. Decisions on further legal steps are dependent on this.

Export control - assessing risks correctly

Export control is sometimes underestimated, sometimes overestimated. VDMA members can get advice and help from the VDMA to identify and comply with export restrictions and avoid unnecessary expense.

First German ruling explicitly qualifies Corona pandemic as a case of "force majeure"

In a judgment dated 25.09.2020, file number 3 O 261/20 (BeckRS 2020, 27363), the Regional Court of Paderborn was, in the perception of the VDMA, the first German court to expressly consider the Corona pandemic as a case of "force majeure" in the light of a so-called force majeure clause.

To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Legal

"A unitary patent system will benefit the European mechanical engineering sector more than almost any other industry. It ensures legal security and more efficient patent protection."

Christian Steinberger, Head of VDMA Legal Services

Auf den Punkt Zahl Legal

7.6 billion

Euros in damage

are estimated to have been created as a result of product piracy in the German mechanical and plant engineering sector in 2019 - 300 million more than in 2018.

Source: VDMA Study “Product Piracy”

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Recht

A new start is needed for the Supply Chain act
  • The legislative process must be reinitiated with appropriate involvement of the industry
  • It is necessary to find a practical approach that will actually serve human rights
  • For this purpose, the VDMA will actively participate in the industry dialog that the German federal government is conducting with other organizations

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Other VDMA Services
Your contact persons in the Legal Department
for legal issues in mechanical engineering - exclusively for our member companies


Newsletter Legal Department
The monthly legal update for the mechanical engineering industry - exclusively for member companies
The Legal Department offers seminars and events for member companies covering current topics and legal queries, some of which are held in cooperation with the German Mechanical Engineering Institute (MBI).
VDMA Compliance Program
The VDMA promotes free and fair competition. In order to guarantee genuine and undistorted competition and legal security for members in their day-to-day association work, the VDMA is committed to a comprehensive compliance program.
Sample Contract/General Terms and Conditions
We provide sample contracts specific to the mechanical engineering sector as well as general terms and conditions for Germany and abroad - to ensure the legal protection of your business transactions.


Our publications
Guides, leaflets, and more for our members: The "focus Recht" series and other publications from the Legal department address members' legal queries clearly and comprehensibly.
Consulting, Information, Lectures
The legal department at the VDMA consists of a team of lawyers specializing in the capital goods industry. Here you will receive individualized legal input - competently, quickly and at no additional cost, tailor-made for the mechanical engineering sector.
Working Groups of the Legal Department
In our working groups, we share current information and enable specialist discussions. Topics covered by the working groups include plant construction law, labor law, compliance management and industrial property protection.


Legal Committee
Ausschuss Öffentliches Auftragswesen
The Public Procurement Committee deals with fundamental issues of national and European public procurement law as well as the contract terms and conditions of public contracting authorities. This involves, among other things, the preparation of statements or participation in the amendments to the contracting regulations VOB and VOL. The VDMA positions are submitted to the public procurement committees and the federal ministries in charge. The committee meets twice a year.


Markus Janse

OSMA - Aufzüge


Hess, Christian Dr. iur.

Legal Committee
The VDMA Legal Committee is the traditional central body of the VDMA Legal Department, currently consisting of about 65 heads of legal departments of member companies. In the VDMA Legal Committee, legal topics relevant to mechanical engineering are discussed in a dedicated exchange, legal problems are identified and VDMA positions are co-drafted. The committee, which meets once a year, deals with ongoing topics (reform of the General Terms and Conditions) as well as current legal issues (digitalization, etc.) and offers members space for the important exchange of experience.


Jörg Kondring

Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA

Legal Committee
Ausschuss Vertragsrecht
The Contract Law Committee is a body of commercial lawyers from VDMA member companies that meets twice a year and deals with current problems of contract law in Germany and abroad. Among other things, this grouping oversees the VDMA terms and conditions in cooperation with the VDMA legal department.


Ulrich Kugler



Janssen, Stefan Dr.

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

Around 3,300 primarily medium-sized member companies in the capital goods industry make the VDMA the largest industrial association in Europe and the most important network organization in the industry.

Strong representation of interests

The VDMA is the most important voice of the mechanical and plant engineering industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

A wide range of services

More than 500 VDMA employees worldwide support you with practical services to make the right decisions in your company - along the entire value chain.